Two Weeks to Flatten the Russian Military – Senior British defense sources claimed on Sunday night that Russian forces in Ukraine may realistically only be able to maintain their full fighting capacity for between 10 and 14 days.
The Daily Mail reports that a senior UK source said Ukraine “has Russia on the run.”
“It is running out of manpower and running out of energy. As long as we keep pressing they’ve got 10 to 14 days before reaching their culminating point,” the source said. “That’s when the strength of Ukraine’s resistance should become greater than Russia’s attacking force.”
Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, is currently surrounded by Russian forces. The Hostomel Airport region was hit hard by Russian forces in recent days, but Ukrainian troops managed to block Russians from crossing the Irpin River. However, some parts of the Irpin suburb – where American journalist Brent Renaud was killed on Sunday – are now controlled by the Russians.
The second-largest country in Europe, Ukraine is a big place to maintain occupation – and Ukraine’s smaller army has proven more capable than Vladimir Putin may have originally anticipated.
Russia On the Verge of Bankruptcy
Renaud Foucart, an economics lecturer at Lancaster University, England, argued that Russia may also not be able to afford to win the war with Ukraine.
“Long-term perspectives are dire. If sanctions are maintained, Russia will be cut off from its main trading partners apart from China and Belarus. Rating agencies now predict Russia will soon be unable to pay back its creditors, again with colossal long-term impacts on the economy,” Foucart writes.
“Its reputation as a disreputable borrower will make it hard to attract foreign investments without massive guarantees, potentially making it entirely dependent on China.”
With as many as 12,000 Russian soldiers killed, Foucart also notes that the Russian government will need to consider the cost of every human life lost in his battle to take Ukraine.
A combination of this substantial loss of life, availability of military equipment and energy on the frontline, and the compounding damage caused by sanctions from the West may ultimately decide whether Putin continues this military assault on Ukraine or shifts to an entirely different strategy.
Russia could also redefine what it considers a victory in Ukraine, if its troops ultimately fail to take control of Kiev, or it does not receive the requested military support from China.
Putin May Double Down
Despite the substantial loss of life and damaging sanctions placed on Russian financial institutions, oligarchs, and businesses, Vladimir Putin may still double down on his invasion of Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that the Russian government has not ruled out the possibility of taking full control of major population centers across Ukraine.
“Inevitably this could lead to a large number of casualties among civilians,” he said. “US and European Union officials are pushing Russia towards storming major cities with a view to place responsibility for civilians deaths on our country.”
To achieve this, however, Russia may need to adopt a different military strategy. With Ukrainian fighters navigating the familiar streets of Ukraine and even destroying Russian missile systems, Putin could resort to using more cluster munitions, a greater bombardment of the city that takes substantial numbers of innocent civilians’ lives, or even biological and chemical weapons.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and report on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.